It’s all down hill from here….

24 Aug

…..yeah right!  This is what Tyler kept saying as we kept going on our 15 mile bike ride!  I didn’t intend to go 15 miles.  I probably should have eased in a little bit.  But, I am determined to reach my goal!!  Let me start from the beginning.

A few weeks ago I was researching things to do on a possible trip to the neighboring island of Lanai, when I came across the Munro Trail.  It was my intention to take the ferry over with our bikes, take a shuttle up to Lanai City, and start the trail just north of Koele Lodge.  I mapped it to be about 6-7 miles one way.  I knew it would be quite strenuous, but I thought, “How hard can it be?  It’s just like riding a bike!”

The problem was that I hadn’t been on a bicycle in years! And by years I mean probably seventh grade, and I am now 29.  I decided to purchase a bike (Tyler already had one), and start riding more often to prepare myself.  We ride to the gym as often as possible, which is almost 4 miles roundtrip.  Then we decided to take a trip to the Makawao Forest Reserve, in beautiful upcountry Maui,  to check out the trails up there.

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We decided to start with the east loop because we thought the switchbacks would make for an easier ascent.  The entire loop was almost 6 miles.  I thought this was going to be a piece of cake. Wrong!!  It was a lot tougher than I thought.  We only got about a mile and a half in, and I was struggling.  In fact, there were several times I had to get off my bike, and push it uphill (pathetic I know).  I was thinking “What on earth did I get myself into?”   The combination of the trail riding as opposed to riding on a smooth road, the steep ascent, and maybe the elevation of about 3000 ish feet made it pretty difficult for a first time trail rider.  Tyler of course had no problems.  I am sad to say we turned around at this point.  It really was downhill the whole way now.  And it was a blast.  I began to pick up speed, and the feeling of the wind blowing, the sights and smells of the forest racing by, and the adrenaline rush were all worth the trouble of getting up there.

A couple of weeks passed, and I decided I wanted to try again.   I mentioned this to Tyler, and he suggested we ride down to Makena instead.  It’s paved road the whole way with several hills to traverse (good practice).

We left our condo in Kihei and set off for Makena.  Our plan was to stop at White Rock Beach, and decide then if we wanted to go further.  It was a beautiful day, and the first part of trip was along the beach with beautiful ocean views.  We encountered our first  hill as we turned to head up into the town of Wailea.  And it was a big one.  I made it!  All the way up without getting off and pushing!  The reward was a beautiful coast downhill into what I think is one of the most beautiful places on Maui.

Wailea  is a luxurious resort area, and probably the most posh part of South Maui.  It is home to resorts like the Four Seasons and the renowned Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria hotel which is absolutely beautiful.  The streets are lined with Monkeypod trees and all sorts of beautiful tropical flowers.  As we rode up and down the hills the fragrance of plumeria and the feel of tropical breezes was intoxicating.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We continued on past Wailea to Makena.  After almost 4.5 miles, we reached White Rock beach and decided to take a break.  This is actually the beach we took our wedding pictures on.  It is a beautiful beach with incredible views of Kao’olawe, Molokini Crater, and West Maui.

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Then we decided to try out the new panorama app I found for the iPhone.

After we rested Tyler insisted we keep going until me made it to Makena Cove, another 3.5 miles!!  I wasn’t worried about the ride there. I was worried about making it back.  Of course, Tyler used the same persuasion, “Its only a couple of hills, and they arent bad.”   Again, Yeah right!   I agreed and we continued on.  We made it, and stopped to enjoy the views and a quick snack.

Makena Cove is the beach we were married on so it holds special meaning for us, and every visit is full of pleasant nostalgia.  It is a very small beach with outcroppings of lava rock on both the south and north ends as well as right through the middle. The contrast of the black rock against the white sand and blue green ocean waves is breathtaking.

After Tyler bribed some sunscreen from a couple of beach goers we set out for home.  Shortly after our trek back started we saw Steven Tyler ride by on a bright orange motorcycle.  (I thought about flagging him down to give me a ride the rest of the way back).  2 liters of water later we arrived at beautiful Keawakapu beach and decided to take one last break.

We finally made it home 15 miles later.  I can’t even put into words how exhausted I was.  But I was proud to have made it so far.  Next time I might take it a little more easy, but I am one step closer to my goal!

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